A 38-year-old Kerry man who was caught in possession of thousands of child pornography images following a EUROPOL investigation has been jailed for two years.
John O’Donoghue formerly of Galtymore Park, Drimnagh, Dublin and currently with an address in Killarney pleaded guilty to distribution of child pornography on dates between November and December 2009.
Mr O’Donoghue also admitted possession of child pornography in September 2012.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard Mr O’Donoghue, an engineer with no previous convictions, admitted to Gardai he was addicted to looking at child pornography.
Mr O’Donoghue also distributed illegal images and movies via email and a file sharing network; Judge Martin Nolan noted the accused had been communicating online with “like-minded individuals”.
The material was found on a laptop and USB key at Mr O’Donoghue’s Dublin address as a result of information passed on from an Europol investigation.
There was no suggestion Mr O’Donoghue was involved in making any of the material.
Judge Martin Nolan said this is not a victimless crime because somewhere in the world there are actual children being abused.
Judge Nolan took Mr O’Donoghue’s early guilty plea into account and that his family had suffered a type of “social ostracisation” as a result of his offending.
Judge Nolan said he had to take into account the “tardiness” of the prosecution which had caused a level of stress for Mr O’Donoghue in having the case hanging over him for a number of years.
Judge Nolan imposed a four-year sentence and suspended the final two years. He ordered the destruction of the material.